Don’t Allow Fearmongers to Make Your Travel Decisions for You

There seems to be a trend in traditional media in which they report only the worst stories or points of view about a destination. Although I don’t agree with the way in which they report the news, I know their reports are biased and I ignore them (for the most part) when making my travel decisions. Unfortunately, this trend seems to be seeping into the blogging world, and that is even more troubling to me because as bloggers we have the ability to share our destinations in a very unfiltered way. We generally don’t have editors, or corporate bosses to answer to. The only people we have to answer to is ourselves, and our audience.

Unfortunately, this trend seems to be seeping into the blogging world, and that is even more troubling to me because as bloggers we have the ability to share our destinations in a very unfiltered way. We generally don’t have editors, or corporate bosses to answer to. The only people we have to answer to is ourselves, and our audience.

As a traveller and blogger I write about my travel lifestyle, and the destinations I visit. I’ll share things that are funny, quirky, and interesting. And from time to time if something goes wrong, then I’ll share that as well. But I will not follow the path of some bloggers and write about how I will never travel to x country because it’s horrible and the people are rude, and the food sucked. Never. Nor will I instil fear by writing about all the places you could get kidnapped and held for ransom, in an effort to garner more blog post comments and pageviews (which is completely unethical in my opinion).

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

I’m not saying there is no danger involved when you travel, but I am saying that danger and fearmongering should not be making your travel decisions for you. If I said everyone should travel to Iran, what would your first reaction be? Excitement or fear? Traditional news allows us to believe that Iran is unsafe and a bad travel choice, but if you read

Traditional news allows us to believe that Iran is unsafe and a bad travel choice, but if you read this article by Uncornered Market you will see an entirely different view, and I’m betting many of you would consider travelling to Iran.

There is always more than one side to a story and more than one view of a country. In many cases, the ‘bad’ part of a country represents maybe 5% of the population (or less). Is that really enough to keep you from travelling somewhere? If one popular blogger says a country sucks, are you really going to listen to him and not go there? That seems like a silly course of action, don’t you think?

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Albert Einstein 

Travel is about perception. Something that does not appeal to me, will appeal to someone else, and vice versa. Some of us will travel to a country and fall in love with it, others may go an absolutely hate it. No matter what your experience is, you’ll leave having learned something about yourself and you’ll take those lessons with you as you travel from country to country.

When planning your travels it is important to look at all the angles. Seek out the positive experiences, and weigh them against the bad. Know yourself and what you can handle. Don’t let fearmongers (and sensationalised headlines and blog posts) make your travel decisions for you. Weigh all the options. Make informed decisions.

 

 

 

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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4 Responses

  1. Talon

    And don’t let primadonnas do it for you either. Even when I’ve had a less than desirable experience in a country, I try to give it more time, or I recognize that things could’ve just been off when I was there. You just never know. I’ve seen some popular bloggers act like the biggest primadonnas about a country or airline, and it saddens me because we do have influence with our readers. That should be treated with more respect.

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  2. Dyanne@TravelnLass

    I agree – blogging honestly about our personal experience in a place and how we felt about it is one things. But waxing dogmatically negative about a single (no doubt preciously brief) visit to an entire nation is just plain silly. Most anyone who’s been around the block knows that our travels are colored not only by the x, y, and z reality of what we experience in a place, but also by our own reaction/attitude towards those random experiences.

    Personally, with some 30+ years of travel under my dodderin’ wanderlust belt, I’ve had few mishaps that are even noteworthy (robberies in both x and y countries – both of which could have been avoided had I not been dim-witted, along with a bout or three of hugging a porcelain throne ). That’s in THIRTY YEARS of skipping solo ’round the globe.

    But I’ve only casually written about such in my blog, and most certainly not directing my short-lived angst against the ENTIRE COUNTRY(S) where the mishaps took place.

    Nonsense. And a tad irresponsible for a blogger who arguably has influence over readers who avidly look to us for inspiration, advice and a smidge of good travel sense.

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  3. Priya

    You know, I can’t tell you how people have told me to not travel to a certain destination because it’s unsafe or have told me that the people in so and so country are not nice. There was this girl I used to work with.. and let me tell you, she’s a piece of work. I’ve never met anyone like her. The most racists, selfish things would com out of her mouth. After I was done with that job, she found me on Facebook a few months later and asked how the traveling was going ( because she knows it’s something that I want to do.), and the she made the most disguising, racist comment about one particular country that I can’t even repeat. I had to remove her from my friend list as she is someone I can’t have in my life, online or off line. I try to ignore/ stay away from people who enforce negative thoughts into your mind and belittle your ambitions.

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